Occupied West Bank: Israeli settlers reinvest former settlement of Homesh

Israeli settlers are making a comeback in Homesh, in the northern occupied West Bank. This former Jewish settlement, emblematic, was evacuated eighteen years ago, in 2005, on the orders of then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

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Israeli settlers re-establish a settlement in Homesh, occupied West Bank, May 29, 2023. © Menahem KAHANA / AFP

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With our special envoy to Homesh, Sami Boukhelifa

With the recent coming to power of the extreme right in Israel, parliament repealed a law deemed "humiliating", which prohibited the return of Jews to this Palestinian land. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reassures the international community that there is no intention to recolonize Homesh.

But on the spot, another reality is emerging. Work is progressing slowly but surely. Protected by the army, about twenty young settlers are busy. A small water tower is erected, prefabricated buildings installed and connected to the electricity network. They will soon host the yeshiva, the religious school, headed by Rabbi Menachem Ben Shahar. "Thank God, two months ago, Parliament took steps to reverse the decision that forced us to leave Homesh. Thanks to this, it can be said that Israel is returning here. Unfortunately, this is not yet fully legal. So did the work at night. But we hope that it will become completely legal again, so that there is a colony here as before."

"It's hard to imagine cohabitation with the Palestinians"

Forty-six years old, a long white beard framed by papillotes, Menachem Ben Shahar contemplates from Homesh, at the top of the hill, the valley below. Nablus in the distance, a mosaic of Palestinian villages. Here it is only the land of Israel, he says. "It's hard to imagine cohabitation with the Palestinians. Their Islam is so radical, that I find it hard to conceive of living with them. There are Palestinians who respect Israel and the people of Israel, those, "Ahlan Wa Sahlan", welcome. But those who perpetuate violence, the "Palestinian murderers," stand no chance.


A week ago, however, it was the young settlers of Homesh who devastated the nearby Palestinian village of Burqa. Israeli human rights organizations denounced a pogrom.

>> READ ALSO: Palestinian territories: violent attack of Israeli settlers against the village of Burqa

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  • Israel
  • Palestinian Territories
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